It’s nice to have an old stand-by; a place you know you can rely on for good, unfussy food whenever required.
Romios on Lark Lane is one of those places – an authentic Greek taverna that’s a bit worn around the edges but always presents a friendly welcome and homely atmosphere.
Owner Michael is what might be referred to as a ‘character’ – making several visits to our table to enquire as to how we were enjoying our meal; chiding our partner for not eating all her food; and then hurrying us along at closing time. How you react to this sort of service at a restaurant may well influence how you view Romios.
The menu is full of simple Greek Cypriot dishes – lots of halloumi, squid, metballs, stuffed vine leaves and the like. We frequently have halloumi and lountza as a starter; a simple dish of fried smoked pork with some grilled cheese.
With a twist of lemon and a couple of mouthfulls of the soft, white bread presented with starters, it’s very tasty and rather comforting.
While there’s an offer menu between 5-8pm every night that offers two courses for £10.95 with plenty of choice, the main menu is packed with dishes and plenty of choice for veggies.
But we love Romios for is Lamb Kleftiko, a melt-in-the-mouth, fall-off-the-bone treat that comes with a side salad, boiled rice and chunky home-made chips.
It’s not complicated, but it’s delicious, filling and generous for the money. We ate the food with pints of lager and gin and tonics, which were reasonably priced at less than three quid.
Romios is not about finesse, it’s very simply – perhaps even basic – but ticks the relevant boxes. The service is attentive and the atmosphere is one of Romios’ strengths. More than anything else it feels like going to a friend’s house for dinner.
That may not appeal to everyone, but as a simple pleasure it’s a reliable, relaxed and has the worn comfort of a pair of old shoes.